When Brady and Tiffany Ericson returned to America after years of living abroad, they sought to recreate the feeling of Europe’s grand estates on a 2-acre parcel in Michigan. The interior, however, needed to be all about modern living–for generations to come. “Because our three children are budding teenagers, we really wanted to build a home they could visit with their families someday,” Tiffany explains. “We’ve moved so many times, but this is it.”
Built with solid blocks of stone, the structure is inspired by the homes in the couple’s last place of residence: Vigo, Spain. “This house is very specific to their DNA,” says interior designer Amy Storm. A porte cochere leads to an open area between the two garages, which face each other, concealed fromÂ the street–an ideal place for summer socials, Brady says. Arches, dormers and other architectural accoutrements reinforce the sense of history the house exudes despite its recent construction.
Designing the home required multiple iterations, explains builder Todd Bergsman, who then sent his ideas to architect Jeff Klatt to officially draw up the plans. But getting the community’s blessing for the project was the most challenging part. “We went in front of a board of 15 people who critiqued, challenged and ultimately approved it,” Bergsman says. “It wasn’t easy.”
The result, however, was worth the effort. Accentuating the gray stone exterior, a set of mahogany double doors opens to a luxurious foyer, its walls painted a dark shade of charcoal to complement the marble floor tile. A dramatic crystal chandelier illuminates the space, reflecting softly off the silver-leafed ceiling. “It’s the first impression, and we felt it was very important to create some drama,” Storm says. “It’s also a hint of what’s to come, because we used a variation of that gray color in different places throughout the house.”
A gray-and-white herringbone-patterned wallcovering, for example, plays off of the handsome fireplace mantel in the formal library, where floor-to-ceiling shelving along one wall is filled with a mix of family photos and pieces the Ericsons have collected during their travels. “This room is a little darker, a little richer,” Storm describes. “Everything about it has been elevated to another level.” Meanwhile, a lighter shade of gray distinguishes the massive island from the classic white perimeter cabinetry in the kitchen–a traditional space with a pillowed marble subway-tile backsplash and a mix of countertops. “Tiffany wanted a bright, light, classic kitchen that would never go out of style,” Storm says. The smaller spaces, on the other hand, were another story. “Tiffany tends to be somewhat traditional, but she really wanted to do something special in the powder room,” the interior designer says. To achieve this, Storm incorporated a black vanity, a graphic grasscloth wallcovering with an ethereal watercolor pattern and a black lacquer mirror studded with crystals.
Storm charted a similar path in the master bedroom. “Tiffany wanted something a little more feminine, so we added some bling-y details,” she says. Another patterned wallpaper, this one in a purple hue, lines a wall niche. The feature is furnished with a bench but has been designed to fit a king-size headboard, allowing the couple to adjust their furniture layout anytime. A patterned wool-and-silk rug, silky sheets and wool-andfabric window treatments with crystal buttons add to the soothing atmosphere.
The final look incorporates all the Ericsons’ wishes for their European-style residence, Tiffany says. “It really has a Greek or Spanish feel,” she says. And with plenty of spaces for guests to relax inside and outside, the couple has no doubt their children will want to visit for years to come. “The big question,” Brady jokes, “is whether we’ll ever get them to leave.”